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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

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Demystifying The Placebo Effect, Phoebe Friesen Sep 2018

Demystifying The Placebo Effect, Phoebe Friesen

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation offers a philosophical analysis of the placebo effect. After offering an overview of recent evidence concerning the phenomenon, I consider several prominent accounts of the placebo effect that have been put forward and argue that none of them are able to adequately account for the diverse instantiations of the phenomenon. I then offer a novel account, which suggests that we ought to think of the placebo effect as encompassing three distinct responses: conditioned placebo responses, cognitive placebo responses, and network placebo responses. Next, I consider implications of the placebo effect’s role in complementary and alternative medicine for ...